Studying abroad might seem like a great idea to you and a terrifying idea for your parents. Where you see excitement, growth and learning; they see danger, no supervision and parties. So, how can you convince your parents that studying abroad is right for you? Here are five tips to consider before bringing the idea up to your parents.
- Do Your Research
This one might seem obvious, but I mean to do more research than looking into what schools you want to go to. Research pricing, accommodations, what school is best for your program and anything else that your parents might ask about. Answer their questions before they even ask them. To really ace this step put together a presentation (maybe a PowerPoint with graphics). Sit your parents down and show them how much time and effort you put into doing all of the research so they don’t have to. It will show them that you’re serious.
- Help Pay
Speaking of pricing, studying in America can be very pricey. This might be one of your parent’s biggest problems with studying abroad. So, plan ahead and create a payment plan. Look into scholarships, on-campus work and your own savings. If you can at least let your parents know a list of entrance scholarships your school of choice offers and a list of things that you can cover with your own money, they can look at their own savings and see how much studying abroad will actually cost.
- Bring Up Academic Benefits
America has some of the greatest universities and colleges in the world. And since they have ten times as many campuses as any other country, anyone can find the perfect school for them. Plus when you graduate you will be able to rely on your Alma Mater to help you out in the future. Make a list of the top five reasons getting your undergrad in the United States will help you more than a Canadian school. For bonus points, pick your top three schools before talking to your parents and know exactly why those schools will give you the best education possible.
- Set Up A Plan to Keep In Touch
Your parents will miss you. It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 miles away or 300 miles away, chances are the change from seeing you every day to only seeing you on holidays will be hard for the both of you. Making a schedule of when you will check in with them and in what way is important. If you want to chat on the phone once a week and send a goodnight text every night, look into how much an international phone plan will cost. But if you’re parents can work a computer, set up a day and time each week that you will facetime each other. Not only will it remind you to contact your parents when you get to college, but your parents will appreciate the peace of mind.
- Set Up an Emergency Contact List
Obviously, don’t start with this one. There’s a reason I left it to last. You don’t want to start off your convincing talk with your parents with thoughts of you being in trouble and needing help in a strange land. But undoubtedly your parents are going to ask about what you are going to do when you are in trouble. Now this list can range from your school counselor, your resident adviser or even a friend who you know already attending the school. Just make sure that it is a collection of phone numbers that you can contact if anything bad ever happens.
Those are my top five tips for convincing your parents that studying abroad is right for you. Let me know in the comments below or on social media if any of the tips worked for you!